01/07/2008 12:00AM

Dani Tom Boy goes from maiden to stakes


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. wasn't seeking a stakes opportunity for Dani Tom Boy despite the fact that the filly was coming off a monstrous maiden win last month at Aqueduct.

But when an allowance race didn't fill, Dani Tom Boy wound up in Wednesday's $65,000 Fiesta Lady Stakes, which drew a field of seven well-matched 4-year-old fillies going six furlongs at Aqueduct.

Perkins, who was in south Florida Monday morning, said he would look at the past performances of all runners before totally committing to run in the Fiesta Lady. Given the way Dani Tom Boy ran last time, her rival trainers hope Perkins opts out.

On Dec. 2, in her first start for Perkins and first race in almost nine months, Dani Tom Boy toyed with eight rivals, rolling to a 14-length maiden win over the inner track. She covered six furlongs in 1:11.73 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94. Ambience, the third-place finisher from that race, came back to win a maiden race at Calder by six lengths.

"She had trained real well coming up to that race,'' said Perkins, who took over Dani Tom Boy's training in August. "The thing I noticed about her charts was that she had run with good fillies at Gulfstream.''

In two starts there, Dani Tom Boy finished third behind Lady Marlboro and Princess Janie, and then Princess Janie and Simply Divine. Lady Marlboro and Princess Janie are stakes winners, while Simply Divine won a first-level allowance race Sunday at Gulfstream.

The only potential negative for Dani Tom Boy is the presence of other speed types in this field.

Trainer Steve Klesaris has one of those speedy sorts in Ticket to Seattle, who drops back to her preferred six-furlong distance after attempting a mile stakes last Oct. 31 at Delaware Park. At six furlongs, Ticket to Seattle won the Peach Blossom Stakes at Delaware in May and ran second in the Grade 3 Safely Kept at Laurel in October.

"We tried to stretch her speed and it didn't work,'' Klesaris said. "She's run some bang-up races against some good horses.''

Klesaris also will send out Dicey Girl, who finished fourth in the Raise Heck Stakes here on Dec. 7. Klesaris said he felt that effort "was better than meets the eye. She didn't come away good. A little better break and I think she'll be more in the game in this race.''

Ghost Dancing, away since April, returns for trainer Anthony Dutrow.